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maryann1439mmaryann1439 Posts: 2
edited 10/05/2014 - 12:32 AM in Chronic Pain
Can a primary care physician manage chronic pain. My insurance doesnt want to pay for pain specialist.
Mary soyars


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/05/2014 - 3:53 AM
    will not manage chronic pain patients, instead referring them to pain management practicies/doctors.
    The big reasons that primary doctors aren't the best equipped is that they are not up to date in the various procedures used to manage chronic pain, and they are usually limited in what medications or combinations of medications they are willing to use.
    I think that using a primary shortchanges the patient from being able to get the most benefit from the various procedures and treatment options when they use a primary for their pain management.
    A proper pain management program offers far more than the simple management of pain medications, they offer other therapies and procedures , that combined give the patient more options for better overall pain control.
  • I've had a number of different insurances in America (I assume you're here) & they've all covered pain management doctors. Once I was refused but it was due to how the form was completed by my doctor, once he made the changes it was ok. Not all treatments & therapies have been covered but my PMs have been good at pre approving things first.
    To answer your question GP's can prescribe pain medications. In some states it's only 3 months before referring you (I think! I'm repeating what I've been told) I know in Texas they can prescribe indefinitely. Our comunity GP will prescribe for patients who have trouble traveling to a PM & the community will help them get to procedures.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • There aren't any laws that I am aware of, preventing primary doctors from managing chronic pain for patients of theirs, but most won't these days, except in certain circumstances- ie the distance is too far for their patients to travel to a pain management practice - ie really rural locations, and other extenuating circumstances, but that being said, many primary doctors have taken to referring their patients who need ongoing treatment for chronic pain to pain management doctors, for at least a consult, before they are willing to manage the medications....although there are exceptions.
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